Home
SRG Welcome
 
SRG Welcome
 
Art, Architecture
& Design
Biography
Craft
Crime Fiction
Diaries & Calendars
Fiction
Food & Wine
Gifts
History
Humour
Kids
Language, Poetry
& Essays
Politics, Philosophy
& Society
Science & Nature
Travel
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title 11.22.63
Author Stephen King
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton
Binding PB
ISBN 9781444727302
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.99

This 1000-page time-travel novel is a ‘What if?’ story like no other! What if you could go back in time and change the course of history? And what if the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? King takes his protagonist, a high school English teacher called Jake Epping, on an extraordinary journey from 2011 back to 1958 – from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a world of Elvis, Plymouth Fury cars and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life. King truly is a master of the suspense genre – he weaves the social, political and popular culture of his baby-boomer generation into an incredibly compelling story, delivering a cracker of a holiday read.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title 1Q84
Author Haruki Murakami
Publisher Harvill Secker
Binding HB
ISBN 9781846555497
incGST $32.95 Originally $39.95

Aomame is a self-defence expert with a sideline in ‘dispatching’ men who abuse their wives. Tengo is a struggling writer involved in rewriting Air Chrysalis, a novella by a mysterious 17-year-old who calls herself Fuka-Eri. When Air Chrysalis becomes a bestseller, both their lives are changed forever, as they find themselves in a world that seems to be changing but only in ways apparent to them. The inimitable Haruki Murakami doesn’t disappoint with this latest offering, a tightly plotted and densely imagined story of two people whose lives are linked in ways they cannot imagine, and who find themselves enmeshed in the workings of a secretive cult and an alternate reality. Uniquely imagined and completely engrossing – if you’re not a Murakami fan already, you will be after reading this novel.

 
Fiction
Title The Angel Esmerelda
Author Don Delillo
Publisher Picador
Binding PB
ISBN 9781447207573
incGST $29.99

The influential and multiple award-winning American novelist Don DeLillo has 15 novels to his credit, but this is his first published collection of short stories. Drawn from all five decades of his career, the stories here demonstrate his wisdom, inventiveness and deep insight into American culture. It’s fascinating to read these pieces of his oeuvre brought together, as they reveal the evolution of his style over the years – concluding with an impressive story hot off the press, ‘The Starveling’. Featuring characters as diverse as nuns, astronauts and white-collar criminals playing out their lives from outer space to Greece to the crime-ridden Bronx, this is an enthralling and unforgettable collection.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title Animal People
Author Charlotte Wood
Publisher Allen & Unwin
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742376851
incGST $26.95 Originally $29.99

This acute novel traces a day of wretchedness for the middle-aged Stephen, a character from The Children (Allen & Unwin. PB. $23.95), Wood’s previous novel. It begins as he surveys his grotty flat, has a guilt-inducing conversation with his mother and sets off into Sydney’s glaring heat to his dead-end job in a kiosk at the zoo. The day is overshadowed by his definite yet hard-to-fathom plan to break off his relationship with a woman whom he clearly loves. Wood is particularly good at nuanced observations of the way people behave with one another, with lovers and family, with strangers in a modern city, and with animals. By turns satirical and compassionate, Animal People provides great insight into the human condition.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title Autumn Laing
Author Alex Miller
Publisher Allen & Unwin
Binding HB
ISBN 9781742378510
incGST $34.95 Originally $39.95

The year is 1991 and Autumn Laing is a larger-than-life character who feels the pull of artistic creative practice desperately. She is also, in her 83rd year, struck with remorse for the devotion she bestowed on Pat Donlon, a young artist whom she first met in 1938. Autumn was married to Arthur, Donlon was married to Edith Black, and it is the sighting of a now-aged Edith Black in the street that sets her off on a redemptive path of writing their intersecting histories. Inspired by the life of Sunday Reed, Miller has created a wilful and emotional character, and through Autumn’s ‘portraits’ of Pat, Arthur and Edith, we find a meditative book about empathy, fiction and the emotional and creative power of art.

 
Fiction
Title The Best Australian Stories 2011
Author Cate Kennedy (ed)
Publisher Black Inc
Binding PB
ISBN 9781863955485
incGST $29.95

In The Best Australian Stories 2011, Cate Kennedy presents the most outstanding short fiction of the past year. These stories take us deep into our past, into strange and surprising parallel universes, and into unexplored corners of the present. Wonderfully eclectic and brimming with new and familiar voices, this is an ideal companion for summer and a perfect introduction to Australia’s finest storytellers. Contirbuters include Chris Womersley, Karen Hitchcock, Nicholas Jose, Debra Adelaide, Mark Dapin, Marele Day, Louis Nowra, Rodney Hall, Favel Parrett, Mark O’Flynn, Jennifer Mills, Tim Richards, Gretchen Shirm, Michael Sala, Joanne Riccioni, Julie Chevalier, Russell King, Deborah FitzGerald, Rebecca Giggs, Nick Smith, Sarah Holland-Batt, Penny O’Hara, Stephanie Buckle, Kate Rotherham, Miriam Sved, Karen Manton, Sharon Kent, Leah Swann, Cathrine Cole, Liam Davison and Marion Halligan.

 
Fiction
Title The Best of Australia 2011 Boxed Set
Author Cate Kennedy, Ramona Koval, John Tranter (eds)
Publisher Black Inc
Binding BX
ISBN 9781863955508
incGST $75.00

As always, these three volumes present the very best Australian writing of the past year in a compact and accessible form. Essays features pieces by writers including Helen Garner, J. M. Coetzee, Chloe Hooper and David Marr, while Poems showcases work by Paul Kelly, Clive James, Les Murray, Judith Beveridge and Chris Wallace-Crabbe among many others. Stories is similarly rich, with contributions from literary luminaries including Kate Grenville, David Malouf, Tim Winton and Peter Goldsworthy appearing among many pieces by new and exciting talents. Also available: a boxed set including all three volumes for the special price of $75.

 
Fiction
Title Blood
Author Tony Birch
Publisher UQP
Binding PB
ISBN 9780702239274
incGST $29.95

The title of this intensely powerful novel comes from a pact made by half-brother and -sister Jesse and Rachel. Neglected by their mother, abandoned by their fathers, they cling to each other. Whenever they find a trace of comfort – with an unlikely father figure just out of jail, for instance, or with their stern reformed-alcoholic grandfather – their mother, usually drunk or high and with an awful man in tow, tears it away from them. The siblings end up on a road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide and back again, with trouble dogging them all the way. Raw and confronting, Blood is so well written it feels absolutely real.

 
Fiction
Title Caleb's Crossing
Author Geraldine Brooks
Publisher Harper Collins
Binding PB
ISBN 9780732289225
incGST $24.95

In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. From the few facts that survive of his extraordinary life, Geraldine Brooks creates a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. When Bethia Mayfield, a spirited twelve-year-old living in the rigid confines of an English Puritan settlement - and the daughter of a Calvinist minister - meets Caleb, the young son of a Wampanoag chieftain, the two forge a secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. As Bethia's father feels called to convert the Wampanoag to his own strict faith, he awakens the wrath of the medicine men. Caleb becomes a prize in a contest between old ways and new, eventually taking his place at Harvard, studying Latin and Greek alongside the sons of the colonial elite. Fighting for a voice in a society that requires her silence, Bethia becomes entangled in Caleb's struggle to navigate the intellectual and cultural shoals that divide their two cultures.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title Cold Light
Subtitle 3 Edith Campbell Berry trilogy
Author Frank Moorhouse
Publisher Vintage
Binding PB
ISBN 9781741661262
incGST $27.95 Originally $32.95

The third novel in Moorhouse’s acclaimed League of Nations series (following Grand Days and Dark Palace) follows feisty and unconventional Edith Campbell Berry as she returns to Australia in 1950 and sets out to win a job as the country’s first female ambassador. It’s not going to be an easy ambition for Edith to achieve, though – her sexually unconventional husband Ambrose, communist brother Frederick and growing desire to become a mother will make sure of that.

 
Fiction
Title A Common Loss
Author Kirsten Tranter
Publisher Fourth Estate
Binding PB
ISBN 9780732290825
incGST $29.95

Elliott has been friends with Dylan, Tallis, Brian and Cameron since they formed a close-knit group in college. Though drifting apart, the group meets up every year in the strange city of Las Vegas, a place where it can be difficult to tell what is fake and what is authentic. There have always been underlying tensions amongst the men, but when Dylan dies these are brought into sharp focus and previously buried secrets are exposed. In her followup volume to The Legacy (Fourth Estate. PB. $17.99), Sydney-based Kirsten Tranter displays her talent without being showy, creating characters and circumstances that hold you tightly in their power.

 
Fiction
Title The Cook
Author Wayne Macauley
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921758690
incGST $29.95

Elliott has been friends with Dylan, Tallis, Brian and Cameron since they formed a close-knit group in college. Though drifting apart, the group meets up every year in the strange city of Las Vegas, a place where it can be difficult to tell what is fake and what is authentic. There have always been underlying tensions amongst the men, but when Dylan dies these are brought into sharp focus and previously buried secrets are exposed. In her followup volume to The Legacy (Fourth Estate. PB. $17.99), Sydney-based Kirsten Tranter displays her talent without being showy, creating characters and circumstances that hold you tightly in their power.

 
Fiction
Title Daniel Stein, Interpreter
Author Ludmila Ulitskaya
Publisher Scribe
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921844430
incGST $32.95

Growing up Jewish with a Germanophile father in the Polish borderlands, cheating death at the hands of the Gestapo, leading a village of Jews to sanctuary, converting to Catholicism, coming to Israel and working to reconcile Israelis and Arabs: these may seem feats only a fictional hero could be capable of. But Daniel Stein, the protagonist of this novel, is based on a real-life character. Ludmila Ulitskaya, one of Russia’s most acclaimed novelists, has compiled a multivoiced, fragmentary narrative from memoirs, postcards, letters and newspaper extracts to pay tribute to a remarkable life. Examining faith, human frailty and identity, and ultimately pleading for understanding between peoples, Daniel Stein, Interpreter is monumental in both scope and execution.

 
Fiction
Title The Dovekeepers
Author Alice Hoffman
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Binding PB
ISBN 9780857205438
incGST $29.99

This historical novel features the powerful female characters and magical themes that prolific American writer Alice Hoffman is well known for. Set in AD70 during the siege of the Jewish fortress of Masada (the outcome of which was the mass suicide of 900 inhabitants who chose to die rather than submit to the Romans), The Dovekeepers is narrated by four very different women – Yael, Revka, Aziza and Shirah – brought together by their work looking after the birds that supply the community with fertiliser for its crops. Each of their stories is harrowing, but their characters are so strong that they are able to overcome every adversity – particularly when they rely on each other.

 
Fiction
Title Eucalyptus
Subtitle Audio 3 CD set read by Robert Menzies
Author Murray Bail
Publisher Bolinda
Binding CD
ISBN 9781743100813
incGST $39.95

Buy any two of these Bolinda audiobooks and you can choose a third for free! Stock up for summer road trips, or for listening while cooking Christmas feasts for family and friends. All of this year’s titles are by Australian authors – two (Eucalyptus and That Deadman Dance) are Miles Franklin Award winners. Note that the title with the lowest RRP will be the one given free.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title Foal's Bread
Author Gillian Mears
Publisher Allen & Unwin
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742376295
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.99

Gillian Mears isn’t particularly well known by the Australian reading public, despite having won the Australian/Vogel Award in 1990 for The Mint Lawn (Allen & Unwin. PB. $23.99) and winning the regional prize for best book in the 1996 Commonwealth Writers Prize Awards for The Grass Sister. However, this situation is certain to change with the publication of this splendid novel. Set in rural NSW in the years before and immediately after WWII, Foal’s Bread tells the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family, struggling farmers and local stars of the equestrian high-jumping circuit that was popular at rural agricultural shows between the wars. The terms ‘luminous prose’ and ‘masterful characterisations’ are bandied about with gay abandon in many book reviews, but here they really do apply – Mears has well and truly earned a place in the local literary pantheon with this novel.

 
Fiction
Title Forecast
Subtitle Turbulence
Author Janet Turner Hospital
Publisher Fourth Estate
Binding PB
ISBN 9780732294441
incGST $22.99

The word 'turbulence' sits perfectly within the title of this compelling collection of nine short stories. A boy waits for a hurrican; another boy waits for his absent father. Self-harming blood sisters struggle to stay friends in a world of uncaring institutions. An autobiographical piece sees the introspective author swept up in the turbulence of memory. And in the titular sotry, a young woman confronts the fact that her father has dramatically changed. Turbulence seethes with Hospital's quite, wounded, emotionally repressed characters - turbulence that often seems on the verge of breaking free and wreaking havoc. These psychologically observant and emotionally devastating peices are what readers have come to expect from this awar-dwinning Australian writer.

 
Fiction
Title The Freudian Slip
Author Marion von Adlerstein
Publisher Hachette Australia
Binding PB
ISBN 9780733628962
incGST $32.99

Mad Men move over – the Mad Girls are here! Former advertising copywriter, contributor to Vogue magazine and etiquette guru Marion von Adlerstein enters chick-lit territory with this story about feisty young women holding their own in the deeply sexist advertising industry in Sydney circa 1963. Bea, Desi and Stella are all determined to make their marks in the testosterone-fuelled environment of Bofinger Adams Rawson & Keane, but each goes about this a different way – and only two will be successful. A frothy confection featuring friendships, frocks and a soupçon of feminism, The Freudian Slip benefits from von Adlerstein’s knowledge of how the advertising industry worked in the ’60s, not to mention her knowledge of the fashions of the time.

 
Fiction
Title Jane Austen
Subtitle The Complete Novels
Author Jane Austen
Publisher Collector's Library
Binding HB
ISBN 9781907360428
incGST $49.95

These illustrated editions (720 and 736 pages respectively) are handsomely presented and will make a great addition to every home library. Keenly priced, each purchase also comes with a free gift of a pocketsize edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes ($12.95).

 
Fiction
Title Landfall
Author Helen Gordon
Publisher Fig Tree
Binding PB
ISBN 9781905490820
incGST $29.95

Alice lives a thoroughly urban existence as an art critic in London. Increasingly, though, she feels dissatisfied with her life, wondering especially if she has anything at all worth saying about art. Following the loss of her job, she returns to her parents’ suburban home, from where her sister went missing years before. Increasingly, her life becomes marked by absence, as she withdraws further from the world and finds herself in a state she describes as ‘Accidie. Spiritual or mental sloth... A condition akin to dejection.’ Then, in a wholly unexpected conclusion, her grip on the modern world slips even further away. This is a strange and unsettling novel, an impressive literary debut that is about the human connections we make in the modern world.

 
Fiction
Title The Language of Flowers
Author Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Publisher Picador
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742610153
incGST $28.95

Created by romantic early Victorians, who carefully planned every bouquet and posy so as to deliver a desired message, the all-butforgotten language of flowers has recently been introduced to a new generation courtesy of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s bestselling novel The Language of Flowers (Picador. PB. $32.99). This beautifully illustrated miscellany includes an introduction by Diffenbaugh, as well as 50 profiles of flowers, a dictionary searchable by emotion, and ideas for creating bouquets.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title The Map and the Territory
Author Michel Houellebecq
Publisher William Heinemann
Binding PB
ISBN 9780434021413
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.95

In his latest novel, which won the Prix Goncourt, controversial French author Michel Houellebecq shows less of the misogyny and misanthropy for which he is notorious, and more of the intellectual play and dissection of contemporary society for which he is equally renowned. Tracing the long life and successful career of fictional artist Jed Martin, The Map and the Territory also contemplates art and representation. There are characters based on real people too, including Houellebecq himself. Both Houellebecq and Jed are portrayed as characters who rarely engage with people, and Jed has only the briefest moments of intimacy with others. Yet somehow Houellebecq has made him a compelling character, and has written a novel that leaves the reader thinking long after finishing it.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title The Marriage Plot
Author Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher Fourth Estate
Binding PB
ISBN 9780007441280
incGST $26.95 Originally $29.99

Fans of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex can rest easy – The Marriage Plot lives up to the hype that inevitably surrounds anything published by Eugenides, and then some. Set in the 1980s, it’s the story of Madeleine Hanna, dutiful daughter and conscientious scholar who, on a university campus in Providence, Rhode Island (a thinly disguised Brown), starts to feel a bit out of the academic swing of things. When everyone else is reading Derrida, Madeleine is absorbed with Edith Wharton, George Eliot and Jane Austen. Finally, she decides to follow the academic fashion and enrol in a semiotics course. From that moment on, her life stops going to plan, as do the lives of the two men who love her. Eugenides presents us with three characters that ring totally true – introspective one.moment, indulgent the next – in this moving coming-of-age story. A supremely satisfying read, particularly for those who went through university in the ’80s.

 
Fiction - 2011 Commonwealth Writer's Prize
Title The Memory of Love
Author Aminatta Forna
Publisher Bloomsbury
Binding PB
ISBN 9781408809655
incGST $22.99

This story about friendship, understanding, absolution, the indelible effects of the past and the very nature of love was judged Best Book in this year’s Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

A heartbreaking story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances by acclaimed writer Aminatta Forna.

Description
Freetown, Sierra Leone: a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with terrible secrets to keep. In the capital's hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a university professor who recalls the love that obsessed him and drove him to acts that are far from heroic. As past and present intersect, Kai and Elias are drawn unwittingly closer by Adrian, a British psychiatrist with good intentions, and into the path of one woman at the centre of their stories. The Memory of Love is a heartbreaking story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title The Night Circus
Author Erin Morgenstern
Publisher Harvill Secker
Binding PB
ISBN 9781846555244
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.95

Young magicians Celia and Marco have been bound to each other since childhood. But this isn’t a betrothal – they’re antagonists forced into a mysterious contest by two powerful old rivals. The setting for their struggle is the world-famous travelling night circus, Le Cirque des Rêves, which appears unexpectedly in towns to delight its audiences with magical spectacles and bewitching performers. As Celia and Marco circle each other and learn more about the fates chosen for them, a mesmerising love story unfolds. First-time author Erin Morgenstern has imagined a sensual, fantastical world set in the late 19th century. It’s easy to see why film rights have already been snapped up, and why authors such as Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife) and Téa Obreht (The Tiger’s Wife) are impressed.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title Nightwoods
Author Charles Frazier
Publisher Sceptre
Binding PB
ISBN 9781444731255
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.99

When Luce’s sister Lily is murdered by her husband, Luce takes on the responsibility of caring for Lily’s young twins. Luce, troubled and reclusive, lives in a secluded lodge where she’s built a life as a caretaker. The twins disrupt her peaceful existence and there are more disruptions on the horizon. There’s a potential suitor, but also the menacing presence of Lily’s deranged husband, who thinks his children have taken his ill-gotten stash of money. Author of modern classic Cold Mountain (Sceptre. PB. $22.99), which was made into a film starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, Charles Frazier has produced another powerful novel set in the mountains of North Carolina. He grew up in these mountains, and his love for them is always present in his vivid descriptions.

 
Fiction
Title Obedience
Author Jacqueline Yallop
Publisher Atlantic
Binding PB
ISBN 9780857891020
incGST $29.99

Sister Bernard was a young nun when Nazi soldiers made their presence felt in her small French town. Now, she is one of only three aged nuns still living in the same convent, which is about to close forever. This finely written and beautifully controlled novel shifts between the two time frames as it explores the reverberations of Sister Bernard’s allconsuming affair with one of the soldiers – an act that betrayed her God, her convent and her town. She is desperate to be loved, not only by the soldier, but also by the God who once spoke to her by incessantly scolding her, but then abandoned her. Subtle yet strong, cool but compelling, Obedience is morally complex and moving – as only the best novels are.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title On Canaan's Side
Author Sebastian Barry
Publisher Faber
Binding PB
ISBN 9780571273638
incGST $19.95 Originally $29.99

It may be a small island with a crippled economy and an unhealthy obsession with Guinness, but Ireland has more than its fair share of great novelists. With his latest work, Sebastian Barry, author of the critically acclaimed The Secret Scripture (Faber. PB. $23.99) and A Long Long Way (Faber. PB. $23.95), cements his place in the Irish literary pantheon alongside Tóibín, McCann, Banville and O’Neill. Using his trademark spare but lilting prose, Barry tells the story of Lilly Bere, forced to flee Dublin after WWI for the strange new world of America. Lilly’s life has been full of sadness, but as she looks back over seven decades and writes about the people she has loved, her story resonates with a grace and beauty that seems almost palpable. Simply magnificent.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title The Pale King
Author David Foster Wallace
Publisher Hamish Hamilton
Binding HB
ISBN 9781926428178
incGST $19.95 Originally $39.95

His work may evoke Pynchon and Borges (and in this instance, Kafka), but David Foster Wallace’s novels are wholly original. The Pale King is densely packed, experimental fiction written to evoke contemporary life. Set principally in a tax office in Illinois in 1985, it is a mosaic of landscapes, internal thought processes and descriptions of the drudgery of work. Realism sits side by side with the absurdly surreal. Short excerpts of dialogue contrast with extraordinarily long descriptive passages. Unfinished at the time of his death, it has been reconstructed from completed chapters, rough drafts and sketchy notes by Wallace’s editor. It is, therefore, an approximation of what it would have been had he finished it, but it functions as much more than a curio.

 
Fiction
Title Peake's Progress
Subtitle The Selected Writings and Drawings of Mervyn Peake (ed) Maeve Gilmore
Author Mervyn Peaker
Publisher British Library
Binding HB
ISBN 9780712358347
incGST $49.95

Best known for his masterpiece the Gormenghast trilogy, Mervyn Peake authored and illustrated many shorter imaginative works. After his death, his wife Maeve Gilmore compiled a comprehensive selection in this volume, which has now been reprinted as an impressive hardback with a new preface by Peake’s son, Sebastian Peake. The paper quality is particularly fine – thick, white and soft – and it has that delightful scent of a well-made book. The works include Peake’s first known story, ‘The White Chief of the Umzimbooboo Kaffirs’; ‘Mr Slaughterboard’, clearly linked to Gormenghast; two plays; numerous poems and nonsense verses; and a rich array of short stories. And, of course, there are Peake’s striking, original and hauntingly memorable drawings, presented as both plates and line illustrations.

 
Fiction
Title Perlmann's Silence
Author Pascal Mercier
Publisher Atlantic
Binding PB
ISBN 9781848877177
incGST $29.99

First published in German and a bestseller in Europe, Perlmann’s Silence is not your average thriller. First, because we’re halfway through before the possibility of murder comes into focus. Second, because this is a self-reflexive, erudite novel about language, meaning, memory and self. German linguistics professor Philipp Perlmann is paralysed by the feeling he has nothing to say, and finds himself unable to write. Reluctantly chairing a colloquium in Italy, Perlmann has not prepared his paper but is impressed by an absent colleague’s contribution. He starts to consider, unconsciously at first, passing the work off as his own. And so he finds himself captive to a train of events over which he seems to have little control. Mercier portrays Perlmann’s strange emotional state faultlessly, delivering a story as compelling as his much-admired Night Train to Lisbon (Atlantic. PB. $24.95).

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title The Prague Cemetery
Author Umberto Eco
Publisher Harvil Secker
Binding PB
ISBN 9781846554926
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.95

Nineteenth-century Europe – from Turin to Prague to Paris – abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Conspiracies rule history. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate black masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots and massacres. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies both real and imagined, lay one lone secret agent? What if that evil genius created the most infamous document of all? The latest novel by the author of The Name of the Rose (Vintage. PB. $12.95) is as clever, imaginative and satisfying as its predecessors.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title Reamde
Author Neal Stephenson
Publisher Atlantic
Binding PB
ISBN 9781848874503
incGST $29.95 Originally $35.00

Richard Forthrast, a US draft dodger turned drug smuggler turned founder of a Fortune 500 multibillion-dollar online multiplayer video game that is changing the world, gets caught up in the world of terrorism. The guns are many. The body count climbs. The Reamde virus is both a genius invention and a paralysing piece of social media. At 1042 pages long, it is inevitable that Neal Stephenson’s new book has flaws. And yes, to summarise the plot does suggest that it could be beyond silly, but neither the length nor the occasional ill-drawn character can change the fact that Stephenson is a novelist of great thought, imagination and prescience, and a writer who always entertains.

 
Fiction
Title Sarah Thornhill
Author Kate Grenville
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding HB
ISBN 9781921758621
incGST $39.95

This is the story of the youngest daughter of William Thornhill, the protagonist of Grenville’s magnificent historical novel The Secret River (Text. PB. $24.95). Sarah is as strong-willed and passionate as her father, and when she falls in love with Jack Langland she is determined to marry him. But the past, with its dark legacy, almost inevitably intervenes. The horrific events that her father was complicit in will destroy many relationships, including Sarah and Jack’s, and lead to another tragedy inexorably unfolding on the Hawkesbury. Like it or not, the issues that Grenville explores here and in The Secret River go to the heart of defining our national identity, and make both novels essential reading.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title The Seamstress
Author Maria Duenas
Publisher Picador
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742610443
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.99

Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa describes The Seamstress as ‘A wonderful novel, with intrigue, love and mystery’, and we’re pleased to concur. A bestseller in Dueñas’ native Spain, this cracking read follows the fortunes of Sira Quiroga, daughter of a humble seamstress in Madrid, as she forges a career in Morocco and Madrid amid the chaos of the Spanish Civil War and the lead-up to WWII. Sira is a strong woman with a strong sense of duty, so when she is asked to become involved in the anti-fascist movement she reluctantly agrees, using her successful career as a fashionable couturier as a front. The story, characters and historical backdrop in The Seamstress are incredibly compelling, making it our choice for this summer’s best beach read.

 
Fiction - 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Title The Sense of an Ending
Author Julian Barnes
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Binding HB
ISBN 9780224094153
incGST $29.95

Finally, a Man Booker winner that everyone will enjoy and admire! It may be slight when it comes to page numbers, but The Sense of an Ending is substantial in every other respect. An exquisitely written meditation on memory, truth and the oft-painful process of coming to terms with one’s past, Barnes’ novel takes as its protagonist middle-aged Tony Webster, who has a lacklustre career as an arts administrator, an amicable divorce and a dearth of meaningful relationships behind him. When he receives a lawyer’s letter informing him of a legacy from the mother of a former girlfriend, Tony starts to re-evaluate his past relationships, including those with the girlfriend, Veronica, and with his schoolfriend Adrian Finn. In the process, he realises that memory can be dangerously subjective, that truth can be elusive and that time doesn’t always heal all.

 
Fiction
Title Shelter
Author Frances Greenslade
Publisher Vintage
Binding PB
ISBN 9781844087952
incGST $29.99

In the wilderness of northern Canada, finding shelter can be a matter of physical survival, a fact impressed upon a pre-adolescent Maggie by her father. But for Maggie and her older sister Jenny, the need for shelter is also metaphorical after their father dies and their mother disappears as they approach their teenage years. Left to fend for themselves in a world in which kindness cannot always be found, the girls encounter the extremes of both nature and people’s behaviours while searching for their lost mother. Told by Maggie, this novel is a sad paean to the love between mothers and daughters, a love that is strong yet, in this story, breakable.

 
Fiction
Title Smythe's Theory of Everything
Author Robert Hollingworth
Publisher Hybrid
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921665523
incGST $24.95

At the launch of this uplifting novel, the Hon Peter Garrett said: ‘To say that it’s a young person’s world is to state the bleeding obvious.’ Garrett went on to praise Robert Hollingworth’s fictional meditation on ageing, identity and the pursuit of meaning, noting that these issues are increasingly relevant to Australia’s ageing population and that life experience is something we should all value and respect. Here, such issues are woven seamlessly into the reminiscences of 62-year-old Jack Smythe, who has been placed in a second-rate nursing home by his children against his will and tries to escape the futility of his new existence by writing a manuscript detailing his meta-theory about life’s big picture, a ‘Theory of Everything’ where he questions known assumptions and tries to make sense of his life and that of his much-loved sister, Kitty.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title The Street Sweeper
Author Elliot Perlman
Publisher Vintage
Binding PB
ISBN 9781741666175
incGST $29.95 Originally $32.95

African-American janitor Lamont Williams works at a cancer hospital where he starts an unlikely friendship with Mr Mandelbrot, a patient with a heartbreaking story of life in the Nazi death camps. Adam Zignelik is an Australian academic at Columbia who specialises in African-American history. When he sets out to investigate the claim that African-American soldiers were present at the liberation of Nazi concentration camps, he discovers a collection of voice recordings of interviews with camp survivors conducted by Dr Henry Border. As Lamont and Adam learn more about Mandelbrot and Border, their paths lead to one greater story that ultimately reminds us of the commonalities in all our stories, despite all our differences. A truly amazing feat of storytelling.

 
Fiction - SPECIAL PRICE
Title A Tale of Two Cities & Great Expectations
Author Charles Dickens
Publisher Penguin
Binding PB
ISBN 9780142196588
incGST $9.95 Originally $24.95

This deluxe paperback edition contains two of Dickens’ best-loved novels and features high-quality rough-cut paper and a gorgeous embossed cover. At this bargain price, it’s a fantastic option for the office Kris Kringle or for young friends who may not yet have discovered the joys of Dickens.

 
Fiction - 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award
Title That Deadman Dance
Author Kim Scott
Publisher Pan Macmillan
Binding PB
ISBN 9780330404235
incGST $22.99

Scott’s novel explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers, and was the winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Big-hearted, moving and richly rewarding, That Deadman Dance is set in the first decades of the 19th century in the area around what is now Albany, Western Australia. In playful, musical prose, the book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers.

The novel's hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. He is even welcomed into a prosperous local white family where he falls for the daughter, Christine, a beautiful young woman who sees no harm in a liaison with a native.

But slowly – by design and by accident – things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing. Stock mysteriously start to disappear; crops are destroyed; there are "accidents" and injuries on both sides. As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby's Elders decide they must respond in kind. A friend to everyone, Bobby is forced to take sides: he must choose between the old world and the new, his ancestors and his new friends. Inexorably, he is drawn into a series of events that will forever change not just the colony but the future of Australia...

 
Fiction - 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award
Title That Deadman Dance
Subtitle Audio 9 CD set read by Humphrey Bower
Author Kim Scott
Publisher Bolinda
Binding CD
ISBN 9781743101926
incGST $49.95

Buy any two of these Bolinda audiobooks and you can choose a third for free! Stock up for summer road trips, or for listening while cooking Christmas feasts for family and friends. All of this year’s titles are by Australian authors – two (Eucalyptus and That Deadman Dance) are Miles Franklin Award winners. Note that the title with the lowest RRP will be the one given free.

 
Fiction - 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction
Title The Tiger's Wife
Author Tea Obreht
Publisher Phoenix
Binding PB
ISBN 9780753827406
incGST $19.99

This book and its precociously talented author set the literary world talking this year. The winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction, The Tiger’s Wife uses fable, allegory and a magic-realist sensibility to tell a powerful story set in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

As Natalia and a friend travel across the former Yugoslavia, immunising villagers, the body of her grandfather turns up in a hospital in the middle of nowhere. She and her family have no idea why.

Recalling stories he told her as a child, she becomes convinced that he went in search of the Deathless Man, a mythical figure, that her grandfather claimed to have met a number of times in his life.

In her quest to find out how her grandfather, a man of hard fact and science, could turn to this fantasy, she discovers something particular about his childhood: a tiger escaped from a zoo during World War II bombings and wandered deep into the woods, settling just outside his peasant village. It terrorised the town, the devil incarnate to everyone, except for her grandfather and 'the tiger's wife'...

 
Fiction - 2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Award (Fiction)
Title Traitor
Author Stephen Daisley
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921758379
incGST $23.95

Daisley’s astonishing debut novel is a story of war and of love – how each changes everything, forever. Winner of the 2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Award (Fiction).

What would make a soldier betray his country? In the battle-smoke and chaos of Gallipoli, a young New Zealand soldier helps a Turkish doctor fighting to save a boy's life. Then a shell bursts nearby; the blast that should have killed them both consigns them instead to the same military hospital. Mahmoud is a Sufi. A whirling dervish, he says, of the Mevlevi order. He tells David stories. Of arriving in London with a pocketful of dried apricots. Of Majnun, the man mad for love, and of the saint who flew to paradise on a lion skin. You are God, we are all gods, Mahmoud tells David; and a bond grows between them. A bond so strong that David will betray his country for his friend. Daisley's astonishing debut novel is a story of war and of love how each changes everything, forever. Traitor is that rarest of things: a work of fiction that will transport the reader, heart and soul, into another realm.

 
Fiction
Title The Travellers Tool
Subtitle Audio 4 CD set read by Humphrey Bower
Author Sir Les Patterson
Publisher Bolinda
Binding CD
ISBN 9781743100530
incGST $29.95

Buy any two of these Bolinda audiobooks and you can choose a third for free! Stock up for summer road trips, or for listening while cooking Christmas feasts for family and friends. All of this year’s titles are by Australian authors – two (Eucalyptus and That Deadman Dance) are Miles Franklin Award winners. Note that the title with the lowest RRP will be the one given free.

 
Fiction
Title Triptych
Subtitle An Erotic Adventure
Author Krissy Kneen
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921758706
incGST $29.95

Would you like sex with that? Krissy Kneen’s first novel follows on from her memoir Affection (Text. PB. $25.95), in which she wrote beautifully about her ‘getting of wisdom’ through her sex addiction. Presented as three interrelated sections, the book explores fantasy, love and belonging with a fair amount of bodily secretions and exposed skin through the lives of Susanna, Adrian, Rachel, Leda and Katherine. Each marooned within their own longing, it is not until they reach outside of themselves that their lives feel whole. With touches of Anaïs Nin and Nabokov (not just within the story elements), Triptych is, as the subtitle claims, both adventurous and erotic.

 
Fiction - 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Title A Visit from the Good Squad
Author Jennifer Egan
Publisher Constable & Robinson
Binding PB
ISBN 9781780330969
incGST $19.95

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Los Angeles Times Book Award, National Book Circle Critics Award for fiction in the US and Longlisted for the Orange Prize. Jennifer Egan's spelling binding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other's pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varies as New York, San Francisco, Naples and Africa. A Visit from the Goon Squad is a book about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates. In a breathtaking array of styles and tones ranging from tragedy to satire to Powerpoint, Egan captures the undertow of self-destruction that we all must either master or succumb to; the basic human hunger for redemption; and the universal tendency to reach for both- and escape the merciless progress of time, in the transporting realms of art and music. Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers.

 
Fiction
Title Waiting for Robert Capa
Author Susana Fortes
Publisher Harper Press
Binding PB
ISBN 9780007431243
incGST $19.99

In the early 1930s, Gerta Pohorylle, a middleclass Jew released from a German prison, sits on a train to Paris and writes in her notebook: ‘Sangfroid and a capacity to improvise. These are my weapons. I’ve been using them since I was a little girl. That’s why I’m still alive.’ In Paris, she finds refugees like her, and a community of artists breaking the rules. Sparks fly when she meets André Friedmann in 1935. Idealistic and passionate, they work as photographers under the pseudonyms Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, and risk their lives to document the Spanish Civil War. Translated into 12 languages, and with a film in the works by director Michael Mann, this is a brilliant historical novel from a celebrated Spanish author.

 
Fiction
Title War and Peace and Sonya
Author Judith Armstrong
Publisher Pier 9
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742665405
incGST $29.99

For 48 years, Sonya and Leo Tolstoy shared their lives in an enmeshed union that was both passionate and combative. Sixteen years younger than her husband, Sonya bore him 13 children and worked for years as his copyist, rewriting countless drafts of his timeless novels. Here, Judith Armstrong tells Sonya’s story, exploring the couple’s devotion and ambivalence to one another, their immense passion for great literature and the creative process, and showing us just how remarkably true to life fiction can be. Like Hilary Mantel in Wolf Hall, she delivers an impressive and readable exercise in scholarly imagination based on a known period and a set of fascinating and famous figures.

 
Fiction
Title What the Family Needed
Author Steven Amsterdam
Publisher Sleepers
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742702117
incGST $24.95

In 2009 he won the Age Book of the Year with his brilliant work of speculative fiction, Things We Didn’t See Coming (Sleepers. PB. $24.95), and now Steven Amsterdam returns with a very different – albeit no less brilliant – novel about a typically dysfunctional yet extraordinarily talented family. Meet Giordana, a teenager with a lot on her mind: her parents have separated, her brother has entered the adult world of sexuality, and she’s suddenly developed a new ability – she can turn invisible. And she’s not the only member of her family who ends up with an unexpected and valuable skill. As three decades pass, these ordinary, exceptional people grow apart and together, in a reflective and original take on what the real-life repercussions of superpowers might be.

 
Fiction
Title William Shakespeare
Subtitle The Complete Workds Sir John Gilbert (ill)
Author William Shakespeare
Publisher Collector's Library
Binding HB
ISBN 9781907360466
incGST $49.99

These illustrated editions (720 and 736 pages respectively) are handsomely presented and will make a great addition to every home library. Keenly priced, each purchase also comes with a free gift of a pocketsize edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes ($12.95).

 
Fiction
Title With My Body
Author Nikki Gemmell
Publisher Fourth Estate
Binding PB
ISBN 9780732282073
incGST $24.95

‘You have to change this life, somehow, or something in you will implode...’ Despairing of her hectic routine with young sons and a husband, a woman living in England reflects on her sexual and romantic awakening as a teenager in Australia. An independentminded schoolgirl with an appetite for sex and adventure, she sought escape from her distant father and decidedly wicked stepmother – and found release in her relationship with Tol. Looking back on her experiences with him leads her out of her stifled existence and towards something as satisfying as it is surprising. Nikki Gemmell rose to worldwide recognition with her bestseller The Bride Stripped Bare (Fourth Estate. PB. $24.99) and in With My Body she’s again created a deliciously erotic exploration of female desire.

 
Fiction
Title You Deserve Nothing
Author Alexander Maksik
Publisher John Murray
Binding PB
ISBN 9781848545717
incGST $29.99

This masterful debut dissects the stereotype of the inspirational English teacher character who appears so often in novels and film. American Will Silver teaches at an international school in Paris, and is admired by the students. He asks them to read authors including Camus, Sartre, Shakespeare and Faulkner, and prompts them to think about the great philosophical questions. But Will is deeply flawed, as two of his students discover. Marie is physically infatuated, Gilad intellectually infatuated, and despite Will’s genuinely good intentions, he profoundly disappoints them both. The narrative shifts between the three, allowing the reader to sympathise with the perspectives of each. With its consideration of books and ideas (especially existentialism), You Deserve Nothing could have been hard going, but is instead compelling.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title All That I Am
Author Anna Funder
Publisher Hamish Hamilton
Binding PB
ISBN 9781926428338
incGST $29.95

The gripping first novel by the acclaimed author of Stasiland (Text. PB. $24.95) is equal parts love story, thriller and testament to individual heroism.

Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past – and a part of history that has been all but forgotten. Another lifetime away, it's 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life. When Toller's story arrives on Ruth's doorstep their shared past slips under her defences, and she's right back among them – those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested – and in some cases found wanting – in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Art of Fielding
Author Chad Harbach
Publisher Harper Collins
Binding PB
ISBN 9780007418695
incGST $29.99

In THE ART OF FIELDING, we see sport played in its purest form: by young men who know that their four years on the baseball diamond at Westish College, "a little school in the crook of the thumb of the baseball glove that is Wisconsin," are all they have left. Only their preternaturally gifted fielder, Henry Skrimshander, seems to have the chance to keep his dream - and theirs, vicariously - alive, until a routine throw goes astray. Five lives brought together at Westish - three players; the college?s president and his prodigal daughter - are forever changed by Henry?s single error. The novel that unfolds thereafter is many things: a masterpiece of what James Wood would call "free indirect style," but what a lover of fiction would simply recognize as great storytelling; a campus novel as good as any to spring from that well-tilled soil; and a beautiful and trenchant and veracious depiction of sport. It?s a warm-hearted, expansive book, one whose intelligence runs as deep as its emotion, and very rarely does one encounter characters that one cares about as much as Henry Skrimshander, Owen Glass, Mike Schwartz, and Guert and Pella Affenlight.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Bereft
Author Chris Womersley
Publisher Scribe Publications
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921844027
incGST $24.95

Winner of the 2011 Indie Award for Fiction, Chris Womersley’s latest work is a searing gothic novel of love, longing and justice set in 1919 Australia.

NOW IN B FORMAT. It is 1919. The Great War has ended, but the Spanish flu epidemic is raging across Australia. Schools are closed, state borders are guarded by armed men, and train travel is severely restricted. There are rumours it is the end of the world. In the town of Flint, Quinn Walker returns to the home he fled ten years earlier when he was accused of an unspeakable crime. Aware that his father and uncle would surely hang him, Quinn hides in the hills surrounding Flint. There, he meets the orphan Sadie Fox — a mysterious young girl who seems to know more about the crime than she should.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Berlin Syndrome
Author Melanie Joosten
Publisher Scribe Publications
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921844140
incGST $29.95

A closely observed and gripping psychological thriller set in contemporary Germany.

2006, Berlin. The once-divided city still holds its share of secrets. One afternoon, near the tourist trap of Checkpoint Charlie, Clare meets Andi. There is an instant attraction, and when Andi invites her to stay, Clare thinks she may finally have found somewhere to call home. But as the days pass and the walls of Andi's apartment close in, Clare begins to wonder if it's really love that Andi is searching for … or something else altogether.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Caleb's Crossing
Subtitle Audio 10 CD set read by Jennifer Ehle
Author Geraldine Brooks
Publisher Bolinda
Binding CD
ISBN 9781742678573
incGST $49.95

Buy any two of these Bolinda audiobooks and you can choose a third for free! Stock up for summer road trips, or for listening while cooking Christmas feasts for family and friends. All of this year’s titles are by Australian authors – two (Eucalyptus and That Deadman Dance) are Miles Franklin Award winners. Note that the title with the lowest RRP will be the one given free.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Cat's Table
Author Michael Ondaatje
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Binding PB
ISBN 9780224093620
incGST $29.95

In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England – a ‘castle that was to cross the sea’. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly ‘Cat's Table’ with an eccentric group of grown-ups and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys become involved in the worlds and stories of the adults around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another, ‘bursting all over the place like freed mercury’. And at night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner – his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever.

As the narrative moves from the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years, it tells a spellbinding story about the difference between the magical openness of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding – about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage, when all on board were ‘free of the realities of the earth’.

With the ocean liner a brilliant microcosm for the floating dream of childhood, The Cat’s Table is a vivid, poignant and thrilling book, full of Ondaatje’s trademark set-pieces and breathtaking images: a story told with a child’s sense of wonder by a novelist at the very height of his powers.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Domestic Violets
Author Matthew Norman
Publisher Harper Collins
Binding PB
ISBN 9780062065117
incGST $24.99

In the tradition of Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta comes Matthew Norman's Domestic Violets—a darkly comic family drama about one man’s improbable trials of love, loss, and ambition; of attraction, impotence, and infidelity; and of mid-life malaise, poorly-planned revenge, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Book Description

Tom Violet always thought that by the time he turned thirty-five, he’d have everything going for him. Fame. Fortune. A beautiful wife. A satisfying career as a successful novelist. A happy dog to greet him at the end of the day.

The reality, though, is far different. He’s got a wife, but their problems are bigger than he can even imagine. And he’s written a novel, but the manuscript he’s slaved over for years is currently hidden in his desk drawer while his father, an actual famous writer, just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His career, such that it is, involves mind-numbing corporate buzzwords, his pretentious archnemesis Gregory, and a hopeless, completely inappropriate crush on his favorite coworker. Oh . . . and his dog, according to the vet, is suffering from acute anxiety.

Tom’s life is crushing his soul, but he’s decided to do something about it. (Really.) Domestic Violets is the brilliant and beguiling story of a man finally taking control of his own happiness—even if it means making a complete idiot of himself along the way.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Feast Day of Fools
Author James Lee Burke
Publisher Orion
Binding PB
ISBN 9781409140313
incGST $32.99

Sheriff Hackberry Holland patrols a small Southwest Texas border town with a deep and abiding respect for the citizens in his care. Still mourning the loss of his cherished wife and locked in a perilous almost-romance with his Deputy Pam Tibbs, a woman many decades his junior, Hackberry feeds off of the deeds of evil men to keep his own demons at bay. When alcoholic ex-boxer Danny Boy Lorca witnesses a man tortured to death in the desert and reports it, Hack s investigation leads him to the home of Anton Ling, who is known for sheltering illegals. Ling denies having seen the victims or perpetrators, but there is something in her steely demeanour and aristocratic beauty that compels Hackberry to return to her home again and again as the investigation unfolds. Could it be that the Sheriff is so taken in by this creature who reminds him of his deceased wife, that he would ignore the possibility that she is just as dangerous as the men she harbours?

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Five Bells
Author Gail Jones
Publisher Vintage
Binding PB
ISBN 9781864710601
incGST $29.95

On a radiant day in Sydney, four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water.

But each of the four carries a complicated history from elsewhere; each is haunted by past intimacies, secrets and guilt: Ellie is preoccupied by her sexual experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during China's Cultural Revolution.

Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes four lives which chime and resonate, sharing mysterious patterns and symbols. A fifth figure at the Quay, a barely glimpsed child, reminds us that some patterns are imprecise and do not resolve. By night-time, when Sydney is drenched in a rainstorm, each life has been transformed.

Five Bells is a novel of singular beauty and power by one of Australia's most gifted novelists.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Griffith Review 34
Subtitle The Annual Fiction Edition
Author Julianne Schultz (ed)
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921758232
incGST $27.95

Griffith Review’s annual fiction edition features new writing from Australia and the region. Contributors include Matthew Condon, Benjamin Law and Maria Tumarkin.

This assortment of new fiction from the best emerging and established writers from Australia and the region promises a unique summer journey into localities of exclusivity, escape and enchantment. Island mentalities can delineate points of difference, uniting communities or separating individuals. The lure of islands has inspired and disappointed, from dreamy quests for utopia to the adventurers who reach new and troubling shores. This edition will surprise and delight, and will include the announcement of the 2011 winners of the Griffith REVIEW Emerging Writers' Prize.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title House of Sticks
Author Peggy Frew
Publisher Scribe Publications
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921844270
incGST $29.95

This revealing portrait of the joys and compromises of contemporary family life is about trying to stay connected in our increasingly disconnected society.

Bonnie, has given up her life as a musician to become a stay-at-home mum. She tells herself she has no regrets, but sometimes the isolation and the relentless demands of three small children threaten to swamp the love between Bonnie and her partner, Pete. Then an old mate Pete's arrives. Doug is eccentric and intrusive, and his unsettling presence disrupts Bonnie's world further. Yet as the cracks really start to show in the life Bonnie and Pete have built together, it seems the dangers might also come from within.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
Author Mervyn Peake
Publisher Vintage
Binding HB
ISBN 9780099528548
incGST $39.95

Peake’s tour de force ranks as one of the 20th century’s most remarkable feats of imaginative writing and is presented here in a handsome hardback volume.

Enter the world of Gormenghast... Gormanghast is the vast crumbling castle to which the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, is Lord and heir. Gothic labyrinth of roofs and turrets, cloisters and corridors, stairwells and dungeons, it is also the cobwebbed kingdom of Byzantine government and age-old ritual, a world primed to implode beneath the weight of centuries of intrigue, treachery, manipulation and murder -a world suggested in a tour-de-force that ranks as one of this century's most remarkable feats of imaginative writing.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Life
Author Malcolm Knox
Publisher Allen & Unwin
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742372990
incGST $32.99

This story about fame and ambition, surfing and pine-lime Splices, is about the price that must sometimes be paid for reaching too high.

He looked into the Pacific and the Pacific looked back into him. The Life tells the story of former-world-champion Australian surfer, Dennis Keith, from inside the very heart of the fame and madness that is 'The Life'. Now bloated and paranoid, former Australian surfing legend Dennis Keith is holed up in his mother's retirement village, shuffling to the shop for a Pine-Lime Splice every day, barely existing behind his aviator sunnies and crazy OCD rules, and trying not to think about the waves he'd made his own and the breaks he once ruled like a god. Years before he'd been robbed of the world title that had his name on it - and then drugs, his brother, and the disappearance and murder of his girlfriend and had done the rest. Out of the blue, a young would-be biographer comes knocking and stirs up memories Dennis thought he'd buried. It takes Dennis a while to realise that she's not there to write his story at all.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
Author Deborah Rodriguez
Publisher Bantam
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742753904
incGST $19.95

A heart-warming tale about five women who meet in a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Note: this edition is a December release.

In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. SUNNY, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan - and fast - to keep her caf and customers safea YAZMINA, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul's violent streets a CANDACE, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil a ISABEL, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her lifea and HALAJAN, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules. As these five discover there's more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Low Road
Author Chris Womersley
Publisher Scribe Publications
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921844546
incGST $24.95

Part noir thriller and part modern tale of alienation and despair, this novel has built a huge fan base since its original 2007 release. Note: new edition.

Lee, a petty criminal, wakes in a seedy motel with a bullet in his side and a suitcase of stolen money, his memory hazy as to how he got there. Soon he meets Wild, a doctor who is escaping his own disastrous life, and the two men set out for the safety of the countryside.

As they flee the city, they develop an uneasy intimacy, inevitably revisiting their pasts even as they desperately seek to evade them. Lee is haunted by a brief stint in jail; Wild is on the run from the legacy of medical malpractice. But Lee and Wild are not alone: they are pursued through an increasingly gothic landscape by the ageing gangster Josef, who must retrieve the stolen money and deal with Lee to ensure his own survival. Ultimately, all three men are forced to confront the parts of themselves they sought to outrun.

Part noir thriller, part modern tale of alienation and despair, The Low Road seduces the reader into a story that unfolds and deepens hypnotically. A brilliant debut novel.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Monsoon Bride
Author Michelle Aung Thin
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921758638
incGST $29.95

Set in Rangoon in 1930, this debut novel is a visceral story of passion, desire and the politics and consequences of love, as well as the story of a rapidly changing city and country.

Winsome is just married and filled with anticipation. Her new husband is a stranger – one of the suitors chosen for her and the other mixed-race girls from the men who apply to the orphanage. But as the night train rattles towards her new home she sees possibility in this uncertain destiny. She knows she is headed for a new life in the metropolis. She does not know about Rangoon, this city cradled in the arms of rivers. That it is about to be torn apart in the struggle between its ancient owners and new masters. That it will seduce her, possess her senses and change utterly her notion of what kind of woman she can be. When she meets Jonathan – when the monsoon comes – she begins to find out.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Past the Shallows
Author Favel Parrett
Publisher Hachette Australia
Binding PB
ISBN 9780733626579
incGST $26.99

Harry and Miles live with their father, an abalone fisherman, on the south-east coast of Tasmania. With their mum dead, they are left to look after themselves. When Miles isn't helping out on the boat they explore the coast and Miles and his older brother, Joe, love to surf. Harry is afraid of the water. Everyday their dad battles the unpredictable ocean to make a living. He is a hard man, a bitter drinker who harbours a devastating secret that is destroying him. Unlike Joe, Harry and Miles are too young to leave home and so are forced to live under the dark cloud of their father's mood, trying to stay as invisible as possible whenever he is home. Harry, the youngest, is the most vulnerable and it seems he bears the brunt of his father's anger.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Poor Man's Wealth
Author Rod Usher
Publisher Fourth Estate
Binding PB
ISBN 9780732294519
incGST $27.99

Part fable, part love story and part tragicomedy, this tale of a hoax perpetrated by a group of narcoleptic villagers to rescue their town from ruin is both wise and witty. Note: December release.

Part fable, part love story, part comi-tragedy, Poor Man´s Wealth is narrated, somewhat unreliably, by El Gordo--the Fat One. He is the mayor of Higot, a dusty village in an unnamed Spanish-speaking country under military rule. He and the secret Marisol Committee--a group of local councillors--dream up a plan to save the village from economic death and the exodus of its young people, especially now that tobacco--their one source of income--is a suspect crop.

They start a hoax.

El Gordo, whose charming English comes via a library bequeathed to him, argues that the hoax which so changes the life of Higot is no more a deception than, say, the Loch Ness Monster, Ireland´s Blarney Stone, the Colossus of Rhodes...

Can they pull it off and attract tourists to unattractive Higot? Will the hunchback Bartolomeo, a sex scandal involving a bicycle, or the military junta blow the hoax apart, see its perpetrators 'disappeared'?

El Gordo takes the reader on a joyous, witty and wise journey through the travails of his village...and his heart.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Roving Party
Author Rohan Wilson
Publisher Allen & Unwin
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742376530
incGST $27.99

This powerful re-imagining of shocking events in Tasmania’s history won the 2011 Australian Vogel Literary Award.

1829, Tasmania

John Batman, ruthless, singleminded; four convicts, the youngest still only a stripling; Gould, a downtrodden farmhand; two free black trackers; and powerful, educated Black Bill, brought up from childhood as a white man. This is the roving party and their purpose is massacre.With promises of freedom, land grants and money, each is willing to risk his life for the prize.Passing over many miles of tortured country, the roving party searches for Aborigines, taking few prisoners and killing freely, Batman never abandoning the visceral intensity of his hunt. And all the while, Black Bill pursues his personal quarry, the much-feared warrior, Manalargena.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Ruby Blues
Author Jessica Rudd
Publisher Text Publishing
Binding PB
ISBN 9781921758560
incGST $29.92

A sequel to last year’s perfectly timed and extremely enjoyable Campaign Ruby (Text. PB. $19.95). Chick-lit with a political spin!

In Campaign Ruby, Ruby managed to get: 1. drunk. 2. the leader of the Opposition elected. 3. Luke. Now that the balloons from the election night party have sagged, as well as the electorate's enthusiasm for the new PM, Ruby is battling political and personal spot fires. She has a whole new To Do list scrunched up at the bottom of her Prada handbag. 1. Screw things up with Luke. 2. Turn 30. 3. Deal with hormonal pregnant lesbian aunt. 4. And an imploding goverment. 5. Avoid killing peppy intern. 6. Attend party after waxing accident. 7. Cosy up to Pretty Boy. 7a. Complicate things with Luke. 8. Save the government from itself. 9. Figure out who the hell she is. 10. And who she wants.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Scenes from Provincial Life
Subtitle Boyhood, Youth and Summertime In One Volume
Author J M Coetzee
Publisher Vintage
Binding PB
ISBN 9781864712087
incGST $32.95

Here for the first time in one volume is Coetzee’s majestic trilogy of fictionalised memoir: Boyhood, Youth and Summertime.

Scenes from Provincial Life opens in a small town in the South Africa of the 1940s. We meet a young boy who, at home, is ill at ease with his father and stifled by his mother's unconditional love. At school he passes every test that is set for him, but he remains wary of his fellow pupils, especially the rough Afrikaners. As a student of mathematics in Cape Town he readies himself to escape his homeland, travel to Europe and turn himself into an artist. Once in London, however, the reality is dispiriting: he toils as a computer programmer, inhabits a series of damp, dreary flats and is haunted by loneliness and boredom. He is a constitutional outsider. He fails to write. Decades later, an English biographer researches a book about the late John Coetzee, particularly the period following his return to South Africa from America. Interviewees describe an awkward man still living with his father, a man who insists on performing dull manual labour. His family regard him with suspicion and he is dogged by rumours: that he crossed the authorities in America, that he writes poetry.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Silence
Author Rodney Hall
Publisher Murdoch Books
Binding PB
ISBN 9781742665917
incGST $24.99

A poignant collection of ‘fictions’ by one of Australia’s finest writers.

Silence is an exquisite, poignant collection of 'fictions' by one of Australia's finest writers. Each piece has its own startling imagery. This is a book that constantly surprises with its echoes of famous voices, and where the astonishing breadth of material - historical, personal, imagined - is held together by its central theme and by a web of subtle connections./br/br Rodney Hall is one of Australia's finest writers. He has won the Miles Franklin Award twice for Just Relations and The Grisly Wife and many of his novels and poems have been published internationally. His acclaimed memoir popeye never told you was published in 2010. He lives in Melbourne.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Smut
Subtitle Two Unseemly Stories
Author Alan Bennett
Publisher Faber
Binding HB
ISBN 9781846685255
incGST $24.95

Graham Forbes is a disappointment to his mother who thinks that if he must have a wife, he should have done better. And her own husband would be better if she were mourning him than living with him. But this is Alan Bennett, so no matter the importance of keeping up appearances, what is happening in the bedroom (and in lots of other places too) is altogether more startling, perhaps shocking, and ultimately much more honest to people's predilections. Unexpected tales from the master of short fiction.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title Spirit of Progress
Author Steven Carroll
Publisher Harper Collins
Binding PB
ISBN 9780732291181
incGST $29.99

Based on a Sidney Nolan painting of Carroll’s aunt, this is a compelling prequel to Carroll’s award-winning Glenroy Trilogy.

The thing that makes you, it never goes. A sleek high-speed train glides silently through the French countryside, bearing Michael, an Australian writer, and his travelling world of memory and speculation. Melbourne, 1946, calls to him: the pressure cooker of the city during World War II has produced a small creative miracle, and at this pivotal moment the lives of his newly married parents, a group of restless artists, a proud old woman with a tent for a home, a journalist, a gallery owner, a farmer and a factory developer irrevocably intersect. And all the while the Spirit of Progress, the locomotive of the new age, roars through their lives like time?s arrow, pointing to the future and the post-war world only some of them will enter.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title The Stranger's Child
Author Alan Hollinghurst
Publisher Picador
Binding PB
ISBN 9780330513968
incGST $32.99

Reviewing this elegantly written novel about the life and legacy of a gay war poet in The Telegraph, Keith Miller described it as being about ‘…the stately homes, and homos, of England’.

It is the late summer of the last year before the first Great War. Cecil Valance, a beautiful young aristocratic poet, is visiting Two Acres, the home of his Cambridge friend and lover, George Sawle. On his departure, Cecil leaves a poem, dedicated to George’s younger sister Daphne, which when published becomes a touchstone for a generation, symbolising an England in its final glory. Meanwhile Daphne has also become involved with Cecil’s family, visiting their Victorian Gothic country house, Corley, and developing a relationship with Cecil’s brooding, manipulative brother, Dudley, that will link the families for ever. Alan Hollinghurst’s new book begins as a novel about two families and two houses: by the time it reaches its conclusion, it has become an epic tale told in five parts covering almost a hundred years. Like The Line of Beauty it glitters with acute observation and arch insight into the worlds of those who belong and of those who are excluded, of carefully hidden secrets which are finally, dramatically revealed.

 
Fiction - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title To Be Sung Underwater
Author Tom McNeal
Publisher LIttle Brown
Binding PB
ISBN 9781408703038
incGST $29.99

An elegiac all-American love story about what can happen if you revisit the road not taken.

Judith Whitman believes in the sort of love that 'picks you up in Akron, Ohio, and sets you down in Rio de Janeiro'. But she married more pragmatically. Before her marriage to a banker, before her career as a film editor in Los Angeles, Judith was 17 and living in Nebraska, where she met Willy Blunt, a carpenter whose pale blue eyes and easy smile awakened in Judith the reckless girl he alone imagined her to be. Marrying Willy seemed a natural thing to promise. But a violent episode followed by acceptance to a prestigious university carried Judith away. Twenty years later, Judith's sturdy-seeming marriage is suddenly hazy with secrets, and her thoughts drift back to the time when she and Willy had escaped to a small world where sunlight seemed always to fall from a softer angle. What happens now when she holds in her hand the number for the man who believed it, long ago, when she declared her love.